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I love beaches, I love bikes, and cycling to the beach is in my list of the Top Two Things I Love To Do When The Sun’s Shining…just behind the top spot which is taken by ‘Being on the beach’.
The best way of getting to the beach (IMHO) is on a cruiser bike, with flip flops on my feet, sunglasses on my nose, chilled drinks in the basket and a surfboard on the side rack.
Some of the best cruiser bikes are made by sixthreezero (who also make a range of accessories, including surfboard racks, and other bike types besides). So, where can you buy sixthreezero bikes? We’ll take a look in a moment and I’ll give you some recommendations for my favorites. I’ll also give you a quick guide to choosing a great beach cruiser and a bit of background on why sixthreezero bikes are so good.
Let’s take a look.
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How to choose a beach cruiser bike
One beach cruiser is the same as any other beach cruiser, right…? Well, actually, no. There can be a huge difference between different cruiser bikes, some of which are awesome, some are much less so. Let’s look at the features that you need to look out for when you’re choosing your beach transport.
If you have road racing bikes with skinny tires and lycra-clad Tour de France wannabees at one of the cycling spectrum then, at the other end of the spectrum, will be beach cruisers. Beach cruisers are not for going fast on. In fact, going fast on a beach cruiser is totally against the spirit of the thing, isn’t it? They’re all about laidback pedaling, possibly in a bathing suit, probably with a cute little dog in the front basket. Because of that the shape of the frame and the handlebars will be swept back allowing you to ride (in style) in a relaxed position, anywhere from ‘nearly vertical’ to ‘closer to horizontal’, depending on your preference.
Look out for a low crossbar, which is useful if you’re wearing a summer skirt (or if you’re trying not to spill that adorable puppy out of the basket when you get on and off the bike). Also, look out for handlebars that sit higher than the saddle. This helps with the laidback riding position and it has the added benefit of letting you see the best beach spots before anyone else nabs them.
Road cyclists wear shorts with padding stitched into the liner when they’re out powering along on their bikes. Because beachwear doesn’t come with such detailing (it kinda ruins the lines, y’ know?) then you’ll be needing a bike that has a wide and comfy saddle. Many cruiser bikes have saddles that are not only deeply padded but also sprung, all of which really soaks up any unevenness in the pavement surface before it has a change to hit you on the butt.
Single-speed or multiple gears
Should you choose a bike with gears or without? The choice depends on whether you’ll be pedaling up hills and what your budget is. Bikes with gears will make hill climbing much easier, but they’re likely to be more expensive and there’s also more moving parts that can then go wrong and need fixing. On the flip side, single-speed bikes are cheaper and great for short flat journeys.
Traditionally, beach cruiser bikes have big balloon tires. These not only look the part, but they also help to soak up lumps and bumps in the road surface and are especially useful if you want to take the bike onto the sand as a wider tire allows you to ‘float’ more easily along the beach surface.
Also (and here’s what I really love about balloon cruiser tires) they often come in bright colors to match your bike, not just the usual dull black that you get on other bike tires.
Saltwater can be awesome to swim in but isn’t necessarily a bike’s BFF. Make sure you look out for a cruiser that has an alloy frame with a paint finish. This will give a good layer of protection. You should also try and keep your bike inside away from saltwater spray or rain and, if it does get wet, give it a wipe down before storing it away. Cheaper bikes tend to be made from cheaper (and less durable) components so it’s worth stretching your budget a little to get the most hardwearing bike you can.
Hand brakes vs coaster brakes
Cruiser bikes mostly used to have coaster brakes. These were operated by pedaling backwards and this slowed and stopped the bike from moving forwards. There’s a trend for some beach cruisers to have coaster brakes still, but I’d recommend steering clear of them. Whilst they might look sleek on the bike (there’s no ‘brake’ visible as the braking action all takes place in the wheel hub) unfortunately they don’t give as much control as a more normal hand-operating brake which can safely bring you to a stop much safer and quicker.
Are sixthreezero bikes good?
Sixthreezero began life in 2005 out of a garage at Hermosa Beach, California. Since then, they’ve moved to larger warehouse premises (all of about 5 miles inland at Torrance) and created and sold thousands of bikes. They began with an obsession for bikes and cruiser culture and that’s evident in their cool bike designs and colorways. It’s also evident in the smiles on the faces of sixthreezero bike owners and riders.
These bikes look the part and they’re perfect for cruising to the beach on.
As well as beach cruisers, sixthreezero have also created a few other notable bike ranges, including their new electric-powered hybrid and beach cruisers, adult 3-wheelers, and commuter bikes. Electric cruisers are a fantastic development as they allow beach travel when you’re laden down with all the necessary beach gear – they currently have bikes with a choice of either the fully-competent 250W motor or the super-powerful 500W. Three-wheel bikes are great for anyone whose balance isn’t what it used to be and that makes them perfect for senior riders who’ve become less confident about riding on two wheels. They also have the benefit of being to haul more cargo as they tend to have a capacious rear basket between the two back wheels.
If you’re looking for a good quality beach cruiser bike at an affordable price, then you need to look no further than sixthreezero. They’ve got an awesome range of bikes that have great specs with catwalk model looks.
Grab yourself one now and get ready for the beach.